It was a magnificent weekend for the annual Northwest Lewiston Jazz Festival.
The event is coordinated by the Upward Niagara Chamber of Commerce.
Board Chairman Matt Villnave said, “Having seen time and time again what goes into it both during the event and throughout the year, it's truly an immense undertaking for such a small team. A quick glance at social media this morning shows some very good feedback from festival patrons.
“This event in particular is very challenging, as the volume of people can grow to be quite large and when mixed with alcohol and nighttime, creates a lot of stress and anxiety as not everything is within your control.”
He said the team of volunteers works “extremely hard to create a safe and fun festival environment and then rely on the weather to be favorable, festival goers to behave, partners and volunteers, and hired services. A huge endeavor for sure, but how wonderful to attract so many visitors from near and far.”
Chamber President Jennifer Pauly added, “I think it is clear to say that the event has grown over the two decades of the festival. This year was no exception. There are a lot of moving operational parts to making a festival of this size happen. We work with the Village of Lewiston DPW, Town of Lewiston Highway Department, Lewiston Police and Lewiston Fire Co. No. 1 to ensure the festival runs smoothly. Jeff Jordan, Jason Dimet and their crew work tirelessly to ensure our electrical needs are met. Our garbage crew is unlike any other! We sincerely appreciate the sponsors, board of directors, musicians and volunteers who make this event possible!
“With growth comes new issues to deal with. Will we be able to fix all of them immediately? No – but we are able to work on them through the year and continue to make this festival put Lewiston, New York, on the map, bringing a huge economic boost to the community.”
The mostly free, two-day Jazz Festival took place along Center Street in historic Lewiston and boasted the best in live jazz music (across five stages) and food/beverage vendors stationed throughout the festival grounds.
Performances begin Friday night with The United States Air Force Heritage of America Band presenting Rhythm in Blue, the unit’s dynamic jazz ensemble. Rising star, jazz trumpeter and vocalist Benny Benack III was night one’s headline performer. On Saturday, supergroup SOMETHING ELSE! made its anticipated festival debut on the main stage.
Town of Lewiston Supervisor Steve Broderick said, “Another successful Jazz Festival is in the books, and it always amazes me how efficient and well run the event is. Jennifer Pauly and her staff at the Chamber do a wonderful job. Also, Carol Calato, Tony Zambito and the entire board of directors should be commended on all their hard work. The talent brought in to entertain the thousands of people in attendance was second to none. I look forward to the Jazz Fest every year – it never disappoints.”
Village of Lewiston Mayor Anne Welch said, “I want to thank everyone for another great and successful Jazz Festival. It is amazing to see all the people that attend this event. I know all the planning and hard work that goes into a festival of this size and I am truly grateful to all of you. I walked (Sunday) morning and the street was cleared and cleaned and you would never know there was thousands of people were there hours ago. Thank you again for all you do for this community.”
For more information on the Northwest Lewiston Jazz Festival, visit www.LewistonJazz.com.
GM/Managing Editor Joshua Maloni contributed to this report and photo package.
Music Director Tony Zambito
Friday night emcee Courtney Corbetta and The United States Air Force Heritage of America Band’s Rhythm in Blue.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars Downriver Post 7487 color guard.
Members of the Northwest Lewiston Jazz Festival board. (Photo by Wayne Peters)
SOMETHING ELSE! (Photo by Wayne Peters)